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This is an extremely difficult time for me. I discovered a lump on the rear hind foot of my 19 year old cat late last Friday. I got her into the vet yesterday and the vet said she didn’t think it looked very good. She took an x-ray of the foot and also did a whole body x-ray. The whole body x-ray showed an area of her lungs that the vet suspected was the primary cancer that had metastasized to her foot. She was going to have the x-rays looked at by a specialist but she said my girl’s heart did not sound good either. She thought there were a number of things going on. She gave me some Clavamox since the foot looked like there was some infection around the toe nail but told me if she doesn’t tolerate the Clavamox well to stop it. I called the vet’s office today because she won’t eat any food (I had to syringe feed her last night and this morning) and she spends a lot of time just laying and staring straight ahead or standing in one place. The vet I saw yesterday wasn’t there and I spoke to a vet I’ve never seen before. He said the specialist was 95% sure the area in her lungs was cancer that had metastasized but he said I could keep giving her the Clavamox to see if it clears (?) I don’t understand this. He had an Indian accent and was hard to understand but that’s what I heard. I’m thinking that she’s feeling very uncomfortable and that as much as I dread it, I’m going to have to put her to sleep. Do I keep giving her the Clavamox or should I stop it so she has a few days of feeling better and I can give her her favorite food and make her as comfortable as possible? I don’t know how to work through this when one vet seems to be saying there’s a slim hope this is an infection. In her lungs AND on her foot??? It’s sheer agony for me if I think I’m doing something to make her more uncomfortable when she has very little time left.

Thanks.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. I don't know anything about this situation, but I was thinking that maybe the infected toe has nothing to do with the possible cancer in her foot and that's why the 2nd vet said you could continue with the Clavamox? When the first vet said you should stop the Clavamox if kitty wasn't tolerating it, did that include not eating?

There are a lot of very well-informed people here with a lot of experience, so hopefully one of them will be around tonight.
 

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Hi Spirite -

She had said it might cause vomiting. Asia hasn't needed to be treated with antibiotics before so the vet wasn't sure how she'd tolerate it. I'm really debating about whether to give her tonight's dose of the Clavamox or to stop it. The infected claw is probably in addition to the cancer and I guess it was to control it so she'd have more time until she began to feel ill from the cancer. She has had less of an appetite for a week now but she has frequent bouts of going off her food somewhat. She's a CRF cat who also gets pancreatitis every once in a while. If she could still be enjoying life, I'd definitely want to put off putting her to sleep. The infected claw is a problem though if she can't tolerate the antibiotic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I gave her tonight's dose of Clavamox but it felt like I was torturing her. She was clearly upset and I couldn't get all of it in to her. I'm hoping her usual vet will be in tomorrow. She's been away on vacation.
 

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So sorry you're going through this. :(

I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I think I would do in a similar situation.

At 19, this kitty (name??) already has some health challenges. She's lived a long life and in your place I would be concentrating on quality of life. You definitely need to talk w/ your regular vet. She can suggest different abios that may not make the kitty sick, or perhaps other options. I would be focusing on making every day as good a day as possible. As long as she's still eating and acting happy (off the abios), that's a good day. When the bad days outweigh the good days, that's when I would act, knowing that acting at the right time is a big part of the job description to which I agreed when I signed on as her mom all those years ago.

Do talk w/ your regular vet ASAP though. Sounds like the kitty was happy enough before the abios, and just switching to another might be the ticket. There are injectable abios that you can learn to give at home which will bypass the GI tract, for instance.

Best wishes and hang in there!
 

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I think what Hoofmaiden has written is very true.

Let your cat have as many good days as possible.

It's a very difficult time for you and my thoughts are with you.
 

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19 years old is a great age for a cat and a tribute of your care for her. With cancer in her lungs and a heart that "didn't sound good", is a stage that none of us likes to see in our beloved cats. It sounds as if the Clavamox did make her feel nauseous and not want to eat, but a cat in pain will show the same reaction. It's so difficult to know when to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge. Some cats will indicate when they have had enough and are very uncomfortable, and others willl not but will fight to the end. Having watched a couple of my cats do the latter was not a pretty sight to see them go that way, and had more guilt later knowing that they had suffered than if I had made the decision to have them put down earlier. This will be one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever have to make, but being prepared will make it somewhat easier. I believe that no love is ever lost whether between humans or pets, and that some day we'll see our pets who've passed over again. Blessings.....
 

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I would make your kitty as comfortable as possible. There is a check list on the Haleys Angels website of when to know it is time, which is helpful. Im on my phone so cant cut and past it here.

Ive found when a cat quits eating even its favorite things its time to consider helping your companion transition. If she seems disoriented and staring without activity is a sign too. Cats hide pain, feeling ill, and suffering which is so frustrating to us who want to help them.

Make the most of your timme with her. Tell her how much she means to you. Shower her with every thing she loves. My heart goes out to you. Youve given her a long good life. Cherish her journey shes had with you and all the great memories. She will wait for you on the other side.
 

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I don't know how much this will help, but my grandmother's cat was also 19 when she was diagnosed with kidney disease, which the vet said would kill her in time. They offered to do a bunch of stuff to her and give her all these medications, but my grandmother decided that she was so old and frail that she didn't want to make her even more uncomfortable. So, she just continued to love her and feed her and all that until the time came. Suki started crying during the night and wasn't acting right (exhibiting signs that the vet told her to watch for that meant Suki was in pain), so Grandma took her in the next day and had her put to sleep.

If Asia was a much younger cat, then I'd say to go ahead with the treatments. But for a cat that's had such a long life, I personally feel it's best to let them enjoy their last few days/weeks without being put through the added misery of medicines that don't agree with them. I hope that doesn't sound harsh, but what I'm trying to say is that if she looks and feels healthier and happier just letting nature take its course, then that's what I would personally do.

Good luck to you and your girl, whatever you choose to do! And the fact that she's lived to such a ripe old age is a testament to how well she was cared for and loved. :) Many hugs to you!
 
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